Jay Modi reflects on 20 years as business owner in Helena

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2018

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA – For Helena resident Jay Modi, the town he’s chosen to thrive as a business owner for the last 20 years is also a place he affectionately calls home.

After 20 years, Modi has taken the time to reflect on a town that has been special to him and his family. After two decades, Modi now owns a Chevron gas station, Top it Off Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies and Wash it Off Car Wash.

Modi moved to Helena in 1998 after nearly a decade of working at Office Depot in Hoover.

“I used to work in Office Depot in Hoover and a lot of the city employees at the time used to come in and shop with us for electronics products,” Modi said. “I knew the mayor and some police officers because I worked 10 years there. That’s how I got familiar with the town and I moved over to Helena from Pelham.”

After moving to Helena in 1998, Modi took over the Conoco gas station and flipped it to a Chevron in 2006, which he still owns and operates at 4654 Shelby County 17.

Five years later, Modi decided to expand and open Top it Off Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies in 2011 as a place for families to relax and enjoy a dessert or for students to hang out and complete homework and study.

Top it Off features a variety of frozen yogurt flavors and new acai bowls among other things.

Before opening a business, Modi says he wants to bring a business to Helena where there is a need. That’s when he decided to bring Wash it Off Car Wash to the area in 2015 so residents had a local place to bring their vehicles for a wash.

The car wash offers monthly unlimited wash packages at $30, $35 and $45 as well as one time washes consisting of a basic wash, the deluxe wash, the fire and ice wash or the blazing wash.

In the 20 years of being a business owner, Modi contributes the majority of the success to the school system.

“Before Publix came in, there was only Winn Dixie and there was no Walgreens,” Modi said. “The whole beautiful growth about this town was bringing the school system in like the elementary, intermediate, middle and high school. We have lived in Helena since 1998 and our kids have gone to school in Helena. My daughter graduated and my son is still in Helena. The schools have helped Helena grow and it’s brought a safe community.”

In the end, Modi calls Helena “his town” and he plans to support it in whatever way possible.

“We support every community event and we try to support schools,” Modi said. “I love this town and I just like people.”